Donald Trump’s Mafia-state blueprint

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The Atlantic recently published an interesting article by Franklin Foer, “Corruption Unbound,” the latest in the “If Trump Wins” series. It explores the runaway financial malfeasance of Donald Trump’s term as president, how it corruptly began, tentatively at first, how it then grew like a hideous boil, how it will certainly pick up in full flight where it left off “If Trump Wins.” It’s a terrifying tour de force of “What If.”

“If the first Trump presidency was, for the most part, an improvised exercise in petty corruption,” the article says, “a second would likely consist of systematic abuse of the government. There’s a term to describe the sort of regime that might emerge on the other side: a Mafia state.”

While it makes for interesting fiction, it worries me less than the roadmap Trump has forged for future Republican presidents. Trump’s mental decline, measurable at an almost hourly rate, his unprecedented criminal peril, the disastrous divisions he’s wrought in the Republican Party, Joe Biden’s remarkable post-SOTU emergence as a no longer quiet but titanic force of competence and unquestionable achievements, all conspire to make a second Trump term seem more and more like an impossible fairy tale cum nightmare. It’s not 2024 that worries me. It’s 2028.

History’s famous American pendulum, the one that swings Republican for a season, then Democrat, then Republican, then back to Democrat, still swings for all I know. Carter followed Nixon, Reagan and Bush followed Carter, then Clinton, then Bush Jr, then Obama then Trump and now Biden. The Moving Finger writes and having writ, moves on. Will the Moving Finger of history’s reliable pendulum write a new Republican president in 2028? And if so, what will he or she look like?

That depends on who they elect, of course, and whether or not the MAGA crowd, or some equally rude beast slouching towards Washington, will continue to hold sway among Republicans. If a post-Biden presidency ends in another new successful Republican candidate, what will that Republican do with the presidency?

I don’t know and neither does anyone else. But we all now know what could happen. We know that Trump used the presidency to enrich himself and his family to an extent none thought possible. And he did it right out in the open.

So far we know that Donald Trump has gotten away with it. Let’s review. He’s being criminally charged for inciting an insurrection, for stealing and concealing secret documents, for unlawfully attempting to overthrow the democratic election in Georgia and for the business with Stormy Daniels. Where are the criminal charges for his public thefts and the blueprint to kleptocracy he insouciantly left behind? Nowhere.

If a Republican wins in 2028, they will not only have no disincentive to steal, they might even understand how to successfully pull off the criminality for which Trump was finally charged. They could conceivably establish themselves as president-for-life. Imagine a Trump 30 years younger, smarter, far more devious and backed by the full cooperation of a willing Republican majority in Congress and today’s horrendous Supreme Court still extant. It’s a terrifying picture that’s totally plausible.

Joe Biden’s second term must therefore result in far more than his first term’s record for legislative and policy triumphs. He must find a way to put an end to the MAGA cult and its putative descendants. Biden must create a SCOTUS composed of 13 or more justices, legislation that makes future presidents criminally indictable while still in office, a truly nonpartisan DOJ and legislative — or better still Constitutional — safeguards against future criminal abuse of presidential power.

Even all that could yet prove insufficient. Somehow, some way, America must do to MAGA what Germany did to the Nazis, by rendering them impotent with draconian criminal penalties. I’ve said it before and I say it again, just as the Nazis had to be eradicated in Germany, the Republican Party must be eradicated in America. Donald Trump’s Mafia-state blueprint is simply too dangerous to fall into the corrupt hands of the next generation of Republicans. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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